Heinrich lies in the village of Gols in the Neusiedlersee area of Burgenland, to the south-east of Vienna and just a few kilometres from the Hungarian border. The continental influence, hot summers and the east and south-facing aspect of the vineyards results in riper, fuller reds, yet Gernot Heinrich maintains finesse in his wines by using indigenous varieties such as Blaufränkisch, St. Laurent and Zweigelt.
The 100 hectares of vineyard are located 140 metres above sea level on the Parndorfer Platte, a regional ledge, and on the cooler, limestone-dominated Leithaberg that reaches up to 250 metres in altitude. They have been farmed according to biodynamic principles since early 2006. The vines are up to 45 years old, with all the grapes being harvested by hand. The fruit is carried through the winery by a gravity system, which minimises the extraction of harsh tannins.
The juicy Heinrich ‘Red’ is a blend of Zweigelt, Blaufränkisch and St. Laurent. It is an excellent introduction to red Austrian grape varieties and to Gernot’s skill with them. His St. Laurent is sourced from different parcels planted on the light loam and limey gravel soils of the higher slopes, including 35% from the Rosenberg vineyard, where the silica soils impart complexity and a fine structure to the wine. The Zweigelt is grown on the heavier soils lower down, in the best sites of the Heideboden, between the Parndorfer Platte and the Neusiedlersee, as well as on the Leithaberg on the western shore of the lake, which imbues the wines with great freshness and purity.
The Burgenland Blaufränkisch from the east and west of the Neusiedlersee is fresh with red berries complemented by a hint of spice and soft tannins. By comparison the Leithaberg Blaufränkisch, sourced from old vines on the fossil rich limestone and schist slopes of the Leitha mountains, has greater complexity and balances red cherry fruit, spice and earthy notes with fine grained tannins.